Understanding ambiguity is understanding the Double-bind trap where we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. You all know what this dilemma is, and how it feels. When caught in the DB, we are in a vortex of worry that has no end. We must reach out to some friend or a lighthouse to stabilize the whirlpool of the mind or else we fear we will be sucked into a fate worse than death, the oblivion of non-existence, of having no center as ME. This loss of Me is worse than death, so suicide is ofter the only way out for some.
Understanding and working with ambiguity is a lifelong practice. I call it Zen. Zen is the Logic of Ambiguity. It is also the language of art.
In this gestalt metaphor for ambiguity what is your face before your parents were both. What is the inkblot before the old and young woman were born? Once you see the old and young woman, can you restore your innocence, the inkblot before you saw them? Zen is about restoring innocence, your world before you were young or old.
This gestalt image of ambiguity is a better understanding of the yin/yang. Each is the other, yet each is different. They are not opposites juxtaposed to each other in a struggle for dominance, for each is the other.
The only way out of the yin/yang ambiguity, the trap, is to see that both are the same, yet different…that seeing is a single Idea, an action that is the heart sutra that knits the wound. Zen calls it Satori. Ahaha! I see. I am the opposite and the opposite is me. I love my enemy as myself.
I would say they do not reflect the other for then you have two, but that they are the other, and are not the other. The Old woman does not reflect the Young woman in the gestalt. In practical terms, if you look in the mirror and see an old face, you know it is an old face because you know the young face, but we think the young face is gone, and we have plastic surgery to restore it.
But in truth, the old face is the young face…There is no gap in the One except that made by thinking there is.
If I say that I am old and not young, there is a gap. If I say I am young and not old, there is a gap. Who am I? I am neither young or old. I am timeless. there is no gap there, no calculation measuring mind. There is no gap between You as the Observer and the Observed which is Just This. That’s Zen. You are IT!
But at the same time, you are not IT, so you can catch that bus.
That is a brilliant cartoon that captures the space between thought, the gap or pause between the yin/yang. When you focus on one image for a few seconds, the other image pushes through, and then when you focus on that the other image emerges. The focused mind cannot rest on either image because each image is the other image. But that moment of total rest is the space where Moses parted the Red Sea. That space is the Break Through Koan of MU!
Is the image an old woman or a young woman. Which is it?